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I'm looking to make 1 door and 2 drawer fronts for a bathroom vanity for our house. The vanity is going to get a flat black paint finish on it, so I was considering making these out of MDF. A couple questions:

1. Will MDF be ok in a bathroom? I'm wondering if the humidity would wreck the doors somehow over time like it can if you get MDF real wet?

2. I'd like this to consume as little time as possible, so I was thinking of using one solid piece of MDF (or other wood if the answer to #1 dictates) and using a router to clear out the inset as opposed to building a panel door.

Any thoughts?
 

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MDF edges require a lot of sealing to get them to quit slurping up the paint. I used to use a special sealer for it that I got at my paint/laquer supplier. That was years ago so I am sure there are plenty of sealers available now. If you want to use MDF that is.

Hogging out the center of a panel to make a shaker like door does not sound too promising. The faces of the MDF panel are pretty well sealed by the fines and glue holding them together. If you route through that into the center of the panel you would have a large area that you would have to seal up again.

You'd be better off making an actual Frame and flat panel door using a poplar frame and 1/4" mdf panel. Simple Mortise and Tenon for the top and bottom rails. Poplar drawer fronts.
 

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3/4" MDF shouldn't be a problem in a bathroom as long as you seal it properly. I have noticed that this method is used a lot in industry for making doors. Take your router and make a jig for clearing out the center. As for sealing it, I always use a glue and water mixture. One part glue and three parts water, just use regular woodworkers glue. This has always sealed MDF up fine for me, you may have to use two coats though.
 

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Those 1/4" thick panels will break very easily, so I would use 1/4" birch ply instead of 1/4" MDF. For the solid wood, I would use Poplar.

If you're uncomfortable making your own doors, and time is a factor, carefully figure out the sizes you need and order your doors and drawer fronts from a company like Cal Door (www.caldoor.com) Unless you're really into making them yourself, they can make your doors/drawer fronts far faster, better, and cheaper than you can. The downside is that you need to be right on the dimensions. They'll eat their mistakes, but not yours. - lol
 
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